Basslink Independent Report Says Cable Outage Cause Unknown

Basslink revealed a report by Cable Consulting International has found that the cause of the December 2015 outage is still "unknown"By Corinne Reichert, ZDNet
December 3, 2018

Basslink has revealed that an independent report by Cable Consulting International (CCI) has found that the cause of the December 2015 outage is still “unknown”, countering claims by Hydro Tasmania and the state of Tasmania.

“Hydro Tasmania and the state of Tasmania made certain allegations about the Basslink subsea cable,” Basslink said.

“The exact cause of the subsea cable failure that led to the December 2015 outage of the Basslink interconnector continues to be described as a 'cause unknown' by CCI.

“The recent CCI report further supports Basslink's view that the cable failure was a force majeure event under the BSA [Basslink Services Agreement] and BOA [Basslink Operations Agreement].”

Last week, Basslink said that after following the dispute resolution procedures under the BSA with Hydro Tasmania, it was unable to resolve Hydro Tasmania's Notice of Disputes issued on October 22 and Basslink's Notice of Dispute issued on October 8.

“Accordingly, the disputes relating to Hydro Tasmania's Notice have been referred to arbitration before the same arbitrator hearing the matters under Basslink's notice and the state of Tasmania's dispute with Basslink,” the company said.

“Basslink will continue to vigorously defend the claims made against it by Hydro Tasmania and the state of Tasmania.”

Basslink had in April said its dispute with the state of Tasmania would be referred to arbitration after the two were unsuccessful in resolving it during without prejudice meetings.

“Unfortunately, the dispute was not resolved, and has led to Basslink being notified by the state today that the dispute is referred to arbitration. Basslink intends to vigorously defend itself in the arbitration and continues to reserve all its rights in this matter,” it said.

“Basslink maintains its position that there is no proper basis for these claims.”

The Tasmanian government had in March said it is seeking AU$122 million in compensatory damages from Basslink due to a months-long outage of the wholesale telecommunications and energy subsea cable.